Sony Tries Its Hand at Changing What’s in Yours

When the Wii was announced and the concept of its controller was revealed to the world, many a gamer said that it was a gimmick. I thought it was a gimmick. Maybe you did as well. Once the Wii was released, the console began selling like wildfire. Much of its success was attributed to that crazy Wii-mote that was able to strike a cord with the “casual gamer.” Apparently Sony has gotten the message.

First rumors surfaced in EGM about a transforming controller. This controller would transform to be better suited to play games such as racers and FPSs. This story was followed by our own Sev1512 breaking the news that Sony had held consumer tests for a Wii-like controller for the PS3. Now industry sources are reporting that a “break apart” controller has been delivered to developers. What does it all mean?

This means that Sony is now targeting another market in addition to hardcore gamer. This is definitely a smart move. If the success of the Wii means anything, it means that there is a huge market of casual gamers. (Also means that being the least expensive console on the market is very helpful). It has been said many times since these stories began to be reported but the PS3 would be able to offer casual gamers something that the Wii cannot: HD Gaming. Why is this a selling point? Once you’ve gamed in HD you come to the realization that there really is no turning back. (I’ve been gaming in SD since I’ve been back in Cali and it has been a painful experience). Not only that, but wouldn’t it be nice to use those controls on the myriad of titles available on and coming to the PS3? All I can say is that GOW3 with some sort of motion control sounds rather interesting to me.

Now I ask, what about the PS Eye. I’ve heard that the PS Eye is not being abandoned and I certainly hope that’s true. There is so much that can be done with the PS Eye. I’m not just talking about XMB control either. Remember when it was shown that the PS Eye could be used to expand the FPS experience? (It was around GDC time). I would like to see that incorporated in every FPS going forward. If Sony is definitely serious about adding motion control to the PS3, then it should be equally as serious about making the PS Eye a must-have peripheral in the minds of consumers. The release of more PS Eye titles will help, but incorporating it in a title like Resistance 2 would certainly bring cheers from the many people that own one.

Does Sony’s decision to pursue this new controller mean that the Six Axis was a failure? No. Simply put, you can ask Lair why Six Axis support was not mandated on all PS3 titles. The backlash was…well you saw the backlash. I am not saying that Sony should not still attempt to get developers to take advantage of the Six Axis. Socom Confrontation certainly is going to. Other titles should as well. This motion controller is not the death of the Six Axis/DualShock 3. It is merely the expansion of the PS3 gaming experience. Maybe it is another implementation of that 4D gaming experience we all heard about.

For those that are saying that Sony will be sued over this, you are dead wrong. Sony has already copyrighted motion control technologies in the past. Sony even copyrighted this technology for the PS2. So it would be nice to no longer hear this. Did Sony steal Nintendo’s idea? I wouldn’t say yes. If they released the same exact controller, then yes. Certainly, Sony stole that idea. However, this “break apart” controller sounds like something totally new. Something that I’m excited to try out and see if it is worth me setting down my trusty DualShock in exchange for a different gaming experience.

Sony is gunning to be the must have console on the market. Some, including myself, already believe that it is. Others will emphatically say that it is not. That’s fine, to each his or her own. But a console with a wide library of games (hopefully more JRPGs soon), Blu-Ray playback, and now possibly two controller types should at least have some place on everyone’s must have list.

Will you be embracing this new controller? Or would you like Sony dedicate Its efforts somewhere else?